The Franco-Italian Aster demonstrates that it is one of the most effective anti-aircraft missiles of the moment

The Franco-Italian Aster anti-aircraft missile demonstrated excellent capabilities against subsonic and supersonic targets during a recent NATO exercise.

When it comes to comparing anti-aircraft missiles with each other, it is common to rely on certain obvious characteristics, such as range, ceiling, even speed and guidance system. There is however a characteristic at least as significant which is often little or not taken into account, the effectiveness of the system, that is to say the number of missiles which are necessary to achieve a sufficient probable interception rate.

Thus, in the naval field, most systems are designed to use two missiles per target, especially if the latter moves at low altitude and at high speed, like an anti-ship missile. This is the case of SM-2 and the American ESSM, but also Russian or Chinese systems, such as the 9M96 or the HHQ-9.

In this field, the Franco-Italian designers of the Aster 15/30 missile had always announced that their system was so effective that one missile was enough to deal with a target. This postulate has been demonstrated during the naval exercise Formidable Shield organized by NATO a few days ago bringing together about twenty naval units belonging to 13 different nations.

F 592 ITS Carlo Margottini 048 Anti-aircraft missiles | Training and Military Exercises | Flash Defense
The Italian frigate Carlo Margottini (F592) destroyed two different air targets using an Aster 30 and an Aster 15 during NATO exercise Formidable Shield 2023

Indeed, on this occasion, 4 Aster 15 and 30 missiles were fired by three ships against 4 aerial targets reproducing the behavior of a combat aircraft / supersonic missile or a subsonic anti-ship missile moving at the tidal wave, recording the destruction of each of them, in an environment reproducing as closely as possible the conditions of a real engagement.

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